The Rule of Law — Letter #4

The Other Day I Thought Of
2 min readDec 11, 2020


Photo by Willian Justen de Vasconcellos on Unsplash

Dear Ricardo,

Your letter gave me much to think about!

You point out some of the problems in the typical implementation of a Rule of Law system.

I always thought that the best quick answer was to require large consensus in any given new law, after a type of fundamental law (usually a Constitution) is in place. To use an analogy, any given society would have its own 10 commandments and any new commandment or “sub” commandment would require an almost consensus to be implemented.

Who would have to achieve consensus? If we say traditional political parties in a given parliament, then it is better than what we have today, but it is still to easy to achieve it if we have just a few of them. It would be better if this consensus would have to be achieved among the general population. How difficult would it be to capture the power of millions of people?

I think this would be a good starting point, with the goal of making it difficult to legislate. I’m assuming, of course, laws would still exist, along with some kind of law enforcement. I’m curious what those other “Rules” you’ve mentioned would look like in practice, can you elaborate on that?

Anyway, I think what this general population consensus mechanism would do is to drive smaller communities that think alike.

Imagine a country with hundreds of millions of people, can you imagine how difficult would be to change anything? Frustrated proponents would try to found a new community, with its own rules (in our world, it would have to be a new country). People would then choose in which community they would rather live: the old or the newly founded. Eventually you would end up with the famous citadels of people that think alike in first principles (not in everything, of course).

Maybe in the end the original society would be empty, and this consensus mechanism would not exist anymore in any of the new societies, but what this process would have achieved was, maybe, happier, freer societies.

Take care,